Majority of businesses across the world unprepared for cyberattacks

Senior executives don’t believe they have sufficient safeguards to deal with attacks

US research company Cybersecurity Ventures recently forecast that cybercrime damages will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021. Photograph: iStock

US research company Cybersecurity Ventures recently forecast that cybercrime damages will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021. Photograph: iStock

 

Less than half of companies globally are sufficiently prepared for a cybersecurity attack, according to a survey of 3,000 business leaders from more than 80 countries, including Ireland.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers report shows that just 39 per cent of senior executives are confident they have adequate safeguards in place currently to deal with threats. In addition, just 53 per cent feel they are building sufficient resilience to attacks.

The study also reveals that fewer than half of the business leaders surveyed feel their company have done enough testing to ensure they can bounce back should they be hit, while just over a quarter think their business can properly measure how effective their safeguards are.

Risk priorities

According to the survey, only a small minority of companies around the world say they intend to align security precautions to business objectives despite the sharp rise in cyberattacks in recent years.

US research company Cybersecurity Ventures recently forecast that cybercrime damages will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015.

“Cyber risk priorities have evolved from focusing on information security to a more holistic focus on digital risk management right across the organisation and involving all members of staff,” said Pat Moran, PwC Ireland cyber lead.

“With cyberattacks nearly an everyday occurrence and causing massive disruption and financial loss, the survey highlights that businesses need to do more to protect themselves against cyber invasions. Companies that lead on safety, security, reliability, data privacy, and ethics have a competitive and reputational edge and will be the titans of tomorrow,” he added.